16 May 2020

Alert


Last Sunday, Britain's  prime minister spoke to the nation via television. In a rather vague manner and  clearly without thorough consultations he was seeking to slacken the stranglehold of our lockdown. Suddenly the previous slogan "Stay Home/ Protect the N.H.S./ Save Lives" had morphed into something different: "Stay Alert/ Control The Virus/ Save Lives".

Notice how the initial slogan had red edging - red for stop but the new official slogan has green edging - green for go. By the way, I chuckled the other day when someone said that the labelling looked rather like safety stickers on the back of a heavy good vehicle.

Linked to this attempt to slacken the leash, the public have been advised that as from Wednesday of this week they can travel as far as they want to for exercise. That's the reason why I felt completely at liberty to drive forty miles into the heart of Lincolnshire on Thursday morning. Under the changed rules, I wasn't doing anything wrong.

The instruction "Stay Alert" seems rather vague to most people. I guess that brown hares know what it means to "stay alert". Their eyesight, their radar ears, their sensitive noses and their athletic legs are all connected with staying "alert". Evolution has told them that if they don't "stay alert" they are likely to die.

I shared my best brown hare photograph yesterday but for your interest here are two more I snapped in that magical minute by Catchwater Drain between Redbourne and Waddingham. I guess I only spotted the hare because I was following government advice - staying alert:-

41 comments:

  1. He is a handsome hare.
    I may be perhaps a little simplistic here but don't people read the news items about how the virus spreads? Is that why they all seem to be so confused about what staying alert to the risks means?

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    1. There have been various mixed messages and contradictions in my opinion JayCee.

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  2. This reminds me of the old joke, Be alert, the world needs more lerts.

    Lovely photos of the hares.

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    1. Lerts? I have not heard that one before Lily.

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    2. Lily, that's one of my husband's favourite sayings!

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  3. These vague warnings are a little too vague for my taste.
    But I don't think you threatened anyone's health, including your own, by going out and walking and taking those great pictures.

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    1. Vagueness is not what we need right now. If Clint had broken down or I had had an accident then I guess other people's lives would have been affected... but the chances of such happenings is very small.

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  4. You should paint the hare!

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  5. They would look beautiful embroidered.
    Briony
    X

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    1. By all means - have a go Briony! My embroidery skills are not up to scratch.

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  6. Did you see Gogglebox last night? They summed it up brilliantly. The advice could be from the Ministry of Funny Walks😃. Love the Hares .

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    1. I did see Gogglebox Dave. It heartens me that those ordinary people can often see through the bullshit straight away.

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    2. I love gogglebox!

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  7. Johnson, like t-rump, is an entertainer, a spinner, a joker with a much better vocabulary, command of the English language and presence, which makes him seem like he might have two brain cells to rub together. "Stay alert" - is the lamest advice during a global Pandemic- "is this British humour?" He cannot be serious. The best thing we can do ,I reckon, is ignore our so called leaders, tuck in, take care, follow Fauci's advise- stay alive.
    I absolutely LOVE your hares- we have chubby little cottontails running around here in the yard. Your hares look regal- like they deserve fancy suits and pocket watches.

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    1. They are so different from rabbits. I am talking about the hares - not about Trump and Johnson who often seem like rabbits.

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  8. How do you "control" a virus? Even a control freak would have a hard time of it.

    Teacher, reading the register at start of class: "Virus?" Virus, jumping up: "Yes, Sir". Teacher: "You may sit down".

    U

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    1. You could put a chain round the virus's neck and make it sleep in a kennel. Bad boy! Don't you understand how much upset you have caused?

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  9. From "stay home" to "travel as far as you want" does seem like rather a big step, even from Swedish perspective. (We have our own issues of vagueness, but are basically advised to stay in our own health care regions.)

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    1. Residents of our main national parks are very anxious about witnesseing big influxes of daytrippers.

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  10. If you don't win picture of the week with those hares I'm going to delete my Geograph account. Oh! Forgot. I don't have one. Thank you for pointing out the different colours on the stickers. I had no idea because they look exactly the same to me. However, I've confirmed you are correct by checking the RGB compositions with my Paint program, and discovered it applies to the arrows too. As mistaking stop for go, and go for stop could have very serious consequences, I am considering an objection under the disability discrimination act.

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    1. PS - re that second picture of the hare: that is the same position our cat adopts when its having a poo.

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    2. I just knew that you would pick up on that last point Tusker! In fact I nearly captioned that photo "This hare is not about to defecate Mr Dunham"! Are you colour blind?

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    3. My colour vision differs from most people's.

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  11. The hare photographs are wonderful! I have seen many wild rabbits but I don't think I have ever seen a live hare.

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    1. I just read this on Wikipedia - "jackrabbits are hares, rather than rabbits".

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  12. I rather like that slightly hazy photo of the hare (the first of the two). I can live with vagueness in rules for myself because I trust myself to do the safe and cautious thing. It's the other people I don't know about. It's rather like driving - mine's good but I drive defensively because of the other drivers! lol Probably we all think that and therein lies the problem.

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    1. There is a saying by Robert Owen that has always stuck in my mind: "All the world is queer save thee and me and even thou art a little queer."

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  13. I enjoyed yesterday's elegant hare picture as a beautiful photograph, but the first one in this post is so ethereal and dreamy, especially with the row of Cow Parsley in the background and the muted colours, that I think I like it even better. The message from the government was certainly odd, but also worrying in that its rhetoric appeared to remove the onus to limit the risks from their control, and set it firmly on the shoulders of the general public; if there is a spike in cases, it is our own fault for not 'staying alert', and if it is that the virus is naturally running its course, then they will slap each other on the back and say, "We told you so." Either way, they win. Was it really vague, or cleverly designed to appear so, I wonder...

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    1. You have definitely given me food for thought Elizabeth. Thanks for calling by once more.

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  14. "Stay Alert" makes me feel like I'm supposed to be watching over my shoulder for...something. Which is hard when we're talking about a microscopic hazard! When I went to the Heath today there were TONS of people out, all lolling about on the grass. Apparently picnicking is suddenly the thing to do.

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    1. Oh, and I love these hare pictures as well! The commenter above is right -- the soft focus gives that first one a dreamy feeling.

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    2. Thanks for that Steve. I will now submit that image to geograph. The police have been put in an awkward position with the changed governmental advice.

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  15. ....and I like your ending. It's a surprise but it puts the point across.

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  16. Boudicca let a hare free before battle for victory against the Romans, unfortunately it did not turn out too well for us. Lovely photographs and a pleasure to see hares at all.

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    1. The hare figures importantly in our cultural history. Do you remember "Masquerade" by Kit Williams?

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    2. O yes, difficult clues but a golden hare at the end, good selling point for the book wasn't it?

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  17. It is, of course, 'as far as you like so long as you don't stay away overnight'. A couple on the news had travelled 200 or so miles for a walk and were, of course, driving back home that day. They'd not be very alert at the end of that.

    As for the hare pictures I am very envious indeed. They really are excellent.

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    1. In that case I shall call that hare Graham. It's a good name for a hare as they are also very athletic.

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    2. Well I'm not sure that I'm athletic any longer but I am very honoured.

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